Man Allegedly Punched 80-Year-Old Woman, Knocked Her To The Ground In Random Assault

| by Alexander Rubinstein

Curtis Styles, 35, of Roebuck, South Carolina, is accused of assaulting an elderly woman who was standing at a grocery store near the checkout.

On Monday just before 11:30 a.m., deputies were called to the Food Lion supermarket located on Highway 221 after the seemingly random assault occurred, WYFF4 reported. The 80-year-old woman told deputies that she was looking at drinks when Styles walked up and pushed her. Before she could figure out what was going on, she said the man punched her in the back and knocked her to the ground.

She said that the man, who she did not know, never said anything. He just walked away.

The assault was caught on camera and witnessed by store employees, according to the deputies. The workers identified the suspect as Styles, who apparently lives behind the store and is a regular customer, according to My Fox Carolina.

A deputy went to his home and said he found him standing in the front yard wearing the same clothes as appeared in the store’s surveillance footage. The deputy said that Styles denied the allegations, WYFF4 reports.

The deputy showed Styles the video, but he claimed it was not him.

Styles was arrested and charged with third-degree assault. He was held in Spartanburg County Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing.

While the suspect's crimes sound alarming, they are relatively uncommon. Crime rates in which the elderly are victimized are consistently lower than younger age groups, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics based on data from 2003 to 2013.

People over the age of 65 were victims in two percent of all violent crimes while they made up 21 percent of the population aged 12 years or older. Ninety-three percent of crimes against the elderly were burglary or theft.

About 59 percent of nonfatal violent crime against senior citizens occurred at or near their home while 35 percent occurred in other places such as businesses, parking lots, and public areas. Such nonfatal violent crimes decreased by about 41 percent between 1994 and 2013. Rates went from 7.4 victims per 1,000 persons to 4.4 victims.

Sources: My Fox Carolina, WYFF4, Bureau of Justice Statistics

Photo Credit: Spartanburg Co. Detention Center